Our top 10 songs from the Kaiser Chiefs present the music of an English band revered for its contribution to the indie rock, power pop, and Brit-pop scenes. The band was formed in 1997 by drummer Nick Hodgson, keyboardist Nick Baines, and bassist Simon Rix, a trio whose bromance was born at a high school in Menston, West Yorkshire. Initially, the band went under the moniker Ruston Parva.
The band failed to clinch a recording contract despite its efforts for the next three years. Still holding strong faith in a possible successful future, the band rebranded into Parva a move that “partially” bore fruits. As Parva, the band managed to draw the attention of Mantra Recordings, a label through which they issued an album 22.
However, this was only the start of the band’s path to success. The band hit the refresh button for its musical pursuits starting afresh under the moniker Kaiser Chiefs. It is this doughty move that capped the band’s musical pursuits with success. Kaiser Chiefs boasts seven studio albums and one extended play to date.
A Quick Review of Kaiser Chiefs Albums
After rebranding to Kaiser Chiefs in 2003, the band issued its first extended play Lap of Honour. The seven-track extended play was a Japan-only release issued under the production of English record producer Stephen Street. Other musicians who have struck production deals with Stephen Street include The Cranberries, Morrissey, Stephen Duffy, The Psychedelic Furs, Blur, and The Smiths. Lap of Honour is home to musical gems such as “Not Surprised” and “Na Na Na Na Naa.”
The band would later issue its debut studio album Employment in 2005. Employment was issued through B-Unique Records under the production of Stephen Street and Stephen Harris. Other artists who have worked with record producer Stephen Harris include U2, The Dave Matthews Band, The Wombats, Hey Monday, Pull Tiger Tail, and Santana.
Employment was a mainstream success having climbed to the second spot on the UK Albums Chart. The album also climbed to position eighty-six on the Billboard 200 rising to the sixtieth spot on the ARIA Albums Chart. Employment awarded Kaiser Chiefs a commercial breakthrough earning platinum certification seven times in the UK. “I Predict a Riot,” “Modern Way,” “Oh My God,” and “Everyday I Love You Less and Less” are some of the best Kaiser Chiefs songs from the album.
In 2007, the Kaiser Chiefs returned with their sophomore studio album Yours Truly Angry Mob. The album was issued through B-Unique Records in the UK and Universal Motown in the US. Yours Truly Angry Mob rose atop the Dutch, Greek, and UK Albums Charts. The album also made great moves on the Billboard 200 Chart where it rose to the forty-fifth position.
Yours Truly Angry Mob was also a commercial success, though it failed to match that of the album Unemployment. The album was certified platinum twice in the UK, earning more commercial success in Austria, Belgium, Greece, and Ireland. “Ruby,” “The Angry Mob,” “Love’s Not a Competition (But I’m Winning),” and “Everything Is Average Nowadays” are some of the top Kaiser Chiefs songs from the album.
The band issued its third studio album Off with Their Heads in 2008. Off with Their Heads was produced by English record producers Mark Ronson and Eliot James. Mark Ronson is a Grammy Award-winning record producer best known for his work with Bruno Mars, Amy Winehouse, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, and Queens of the Stone Age. On the other hand, Eliot James is known for his work with artists such as The Coronas, Noah and the Whale, Gabriela Cilmi, Last Dinosaurs, and Police Dog Hogan.
Off with Their Heads climbed to the second spot on the UK Albums Chart. The album also achieved mainstream triumph in the US where it peaked at the fifty-fifth spot on the Billboard 200 Chart. Off with Their Heads earned gold certification in the UK. The album is home to some of the best Kaiser Chiefs songs including “Never Miss a Beat,” “Good Days Bad Days,” “Tomato in the Rain,” and “Spanish Metal.”
In 2011, the Kaiser Chiefs issued their fourth studio album The Future Is Medieval. The album saw the band work with record producers Tony Visconti (who worked with Sparks, David Bowie, Thin Lizzy, and Modern Romance) and Ethan Johns (who worked with Ryan Adams, The Vaccines, Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, and Crowded House).
The Future Is Medieval was fairly successful in the mainstream reaching the tenth spot on the UK Albums Chart. Unfortunately, this marked the band’s first album not to have climbed into the Billboard 200 Chart. Nevertheless, the LP still managed to feature musical gems such as “Little Shocks,” “Kinda Girl You Are,” “Man on Mars,” and “Start with Nothing.”
Kaiser Chiefs rekindled their mainstream and commercial appeal with their fifth studio album Education, Education, Education & War. The album saw the band task Ben H. Allen III with its production works. Other artists who have worked with record producer Ben H. Allen III include Erasure, Washed Out, The Constellations, Gringo Star, and Asher Roth.
Education, Education, Education & War rose atop the UK Albums Chart making it the second album by Kaiser Chiefs to reach the feat. However, the album failed to grace the Billboard 200 (but made it to position one hundred and sixty on the Billboard Current Album Sales Chart). The album was a commercial success in the UK where it earned a fold certification. “Coming Home,” “My Life,” “Meanwhile Up in Heaven,” and “Misery Company.”
Stay Together, issued in 2016, marked the band’s sixth studio album. The album was issued through Fiction Records, a label once home to Kate Boy, The Cure, Tame Impala, Mini Mansions, Kate Nash, Alberta Cross, and White Lies. Stay Together was co-produced by the band members and Brian Higgins. Other artists who worked with Brian Higgins include Sugababes, Girls Aloud, and The Saturdays.
Stay Together climbed to the fourth spot on the UK Albums Chart. Unfortunately, the album neither graced the Billboard 200 Chart nor made major commercial moves. Nevertheless, the album Stay Together managed to feature a number of impressive songs by Kaiser Chiefs including “Parachute” and “Holes in My Soul.”
In 2019, Kaiser Chiefs went ahead to issue their seventh studio album Duck. The album was issued through Polydor Records. Duck climbed to position three on the UK Albums Chart despite not achieving major commercial success. “People Know How to Love One Another,” “Record Collection,” and “Golden Oldies” are some of the best Kaiser Chiefs songs from the album Duck.
#10 – Parachute
Welcoming us to the top 10 songs from the Kaiser Chiefs is the cheerful hit “Parachute.” The song is featured on the band’s sixth studio album Stay Together where it served as the lead single. Lead vocalist Ricky Wilson revealed in an interview that “Parachute” was among the first love songs since the band’s signature hit “Ruby.”
The singer went ahead to brand the album Stay Together Kaiser Chiefs’ relationship album. Of course, “Parachute” doesn’t just sneak into our top 10 songs from the Kaiser Chiefs without a fight. The song battles it out with the tempestuous track “Hole in My Soul,” which is yet another fan-favorite from the album Stay Together.
Both “Parachute” and “Hole in My Soul” made it to the top 40 airplay chart. “Parachute” features a music video directed by Ed Sayers. Other artists whose music videos have been directed by Ed Sayers include Duncan Lawrence, Bear’s Den, and Handsome Boy Modelling School.
#9- Kinda Girl You Are
“Kinda Girl You Are” is an impressive fan-favorite track by Kaiser Chiefs. The song is featured on the band’s fourth studio album The Future Is Medieval. “Kinda Girl You Are” finds the band expressing some fascination about a beautiful girl. The song seems to channel a deeper yearning to establish a deeper connection with someone whose personality and looks seem intriguing.
“Kinda Girl You Are” never made it to the major mainstream charts. However, it remains one of the most sought-after songs by Kaiser Chiefs. The song features a music video directed by the British award-winning director Dan Sully. Dan Sully has also worked with other artists including Beach House, Elbow, The Maccabees, Will Young, and Miles Kane.
#8- Everything Is Average Nowadays
While some appreciate the current age, quite a number crave the “good” old days. It’s no lie that many artists have expressed some love for what the past was including Macklemore in “Good Old Days,” The Script in “Good Ol’ Days,” Miranda Lambert in “Automatic,” and Rick Astley in “The Good Old Days.” Most of the Kaiser Chiefs fans lauded the band for sharing its thought about what the old days felt like in the song “Ever thing Is Average Nowadays.”
Of course, the lyrics tell it all albeit through a lamenting about how the society seems to have lost its way. For the fans, “Everything Is Average Nowadays” feels like another song that evokes memories of the glory Britain once had as revealed by the band’s former drummer Nick Hodgson. However, his explanation of the song’s meaning is evidence of how fans might get the whole idea about a song all wrong.
Hodgson revealed that the song “Everything Is Average Nowadays” is about the British pub chain, Witherspoon. Quite a twist it is for many but anyway, we all can make a song mean whatever we wish in our minds! That’s the beauty of the subjective nature of listening to music. “Everything Is Average Nowadays” climbed to the eleventh spot on the UK Singles Chart.
#7- Coming Home
“Coming Home” is yet another fan-favorite song by Kaiser Chiefs from the 2010s. The song is featured on the band’s fifth studio album Education, Education, Education & War. “Coming Home” finds the band expressing its view about how we unsuccessfully try running away from life’s distress through temporary pleasure-seeking pursuits.
The song is the most recent entry by Kaiser Chiefs to the UK Singles Chart—the song peaked at number thirty-one. “Coming Home” had its music video directed by James Slater. Other artists whose music videos have been directed by James Slater include Mark Owen, White Lies, Hudson Taylor, Sandra Kolstad, and Joel Compass.
#6- Oh My God
Gracing our list of the top 10 songs from the Kaiser Chiefs is the song “Oh My God.” The song serves as the band’s debut single having it issued some while before Kaiser Chiefs launched their debut studio album Employment. According to Ricky Wilson, the song “Oh My God” echoes the band’s persistence in the music scene despite not having quite a solid breakthrough.
“Oh My God” was among the answers to Kaiser Chiefs’ yearning for success. The song earned the Kaiser Chiefs their first song on the UK Singles Chart after it climbed to the sixth spot. “Oh My God” would also become a commercial success earning silver certification in the UK. Mark Ronson would later in 2007 issue his version of the song “Oh My God” featuring singer-songwriter Lily Allen.
#5- The Angry Mob
Yours Truly, Angry Mob, the band’s sophomore studio album, is home to the fifth pick on our top 10 songs from the Kaiser Chiefs, “The Angry Mob.” The song finds the band going anthemic and bold in their criticism of British culture. It is the angst expressed in the song “The Angry Mob” that makes this pick quite a gem for the band’s fans.
“The Angry Mob” was a mainstream success having peaked at number twenty-two on the UK Singles Chart. The song features a music video that was directed by W.I.Z. Other artists who have worked with director W.I.Z. include Robbie Williams, Ellie Goulding, Kasabian, Artic Monkeys, and Cradle of Filth among others.
#4- Never Miss a Beat
“Never Miss a Beat” remains one of the most sought-after singles issued by the Kaiser Chiefs. The song serves as the lead single to the band’s third full-length studio album Off with Their Heads. “Never Miss a Beat” is yet another track by Kaiser Chiefs that takes a dig at British culture. The song finds the band reflecting on how some kids who are not book-smart are misunderstood yet they are street-smart.
“Never Miss a Beat” features the backing vocals of Lily Allen and members of the electronic music band New Young Pony Club. The song climbed to the fifth spot on the UK Singles Chart. “Never Miss a Beat” was also a commercial success having earned silver certification in the UK.
#3- Everyday I Love You Less and Less
Ranking third on our top 10 songs from the Kaiser Chiefs is the fast-paced hit “Everyday I Love You Less and Less.” This Stephen Street-produced track is featured on the band’s debut studio album Employment. Kaiser Chiefs are best known for their indie rock, Brit pop, and power pop influences.
However, “Everyday I Love You Less and Less” gives us a different taste of the band’s musical pursuits—the new wave sound. The band’s lead vocalist Ricky Wilson cited this track to be a hate ballad. He continued to quote that “Everyday I Love You Less and Less” is an ode for anyone who’s split up with a former lover who won’t let them leave.
“Everyday I Love You Less and Less” rose atop the UK Indie Chart peaking at the tenth spot on the UK Singles Chart. The song was also gold-certified in the UK. Tim Pope, who worked with The Bangles, The Cars, and Bronski Beat, was tasked with directing the music video to this song.
#2- I Predict a Riot
We get to enjoy the Kaiser Chiefs’ power pop-indie rock musical directions with the second pick on our list, “I Predict a Riot.” The song is yet another impressive pick featured on the band’s album Employment. “I Predict a Riot” is inspired by the closing time in UK pubs where drunk fights are most likely to happen.
The song was a mainstream success having reached position thirty-four on the Billboard Alternative Airplay Chart. “I Predict a Riot” also graced the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number nine. The song was also a commercial success having earned platinum-certified in the UK. “I Predict a Riot” features two music videos—one directed by Charlie Paul and the other by the Swedish collective StyleWar (who worked with The Rolling Stones, Moby, and Elliphant).
Number one on our top 10 songs from the Kaiser Chiefs is the impressive hit “Ruby.” The song is featured on the band’s sophomore studio album Yours Truly, Angry Mob. This power pop track soon rose to become Kaiser Chiefs’ signature song upon release. “Ruby” is among the most radio-friendly tracks by the band to date.
The song was cited as the band’s pinnacle of songwriting by the rhythm guitarist Andrew White. “Ruby” marked Kaiser Chiefs’ first chart-topping track having risen atop the UK Singles Chart and the Eurochart Hot 100. The song also climbed to the seventh spot on the Billboard Adult Alternative Songs Chart. “Ruby” also climbed to the fourteenth spot on the Billboard Alternative Airplay Chart.
Top 10 Songs From The Kaiser Chiefs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023
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